And so it starts! An intrepid group of gamers and fanatics are strapping themselves into the driver’s seat, and hauling across the desert in order to raise money for Child’s Play, a charity which seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world.
So, what exactly is Desert Bus for Hope? Let us address their website’s FAQ:
“Started in 2007 by internet sketch comedy group LoadingReadyRun, Desert Bus for Hope combines video games and tedium to benefit charity.
Desert Bus is the world’s longest running internet-based fundraiser and has raised more than $1.2 million for Child’s Play over its six-year history. This makes it the most successful charity gaming marathon in the world.
Our viewers direct the action, talking with us via live chat, challenging us to sing, dance and generally make fools of ourselves in front of thousands of viewers. The Desert Bus Craft-Along allows people from all over the world to help us raise money by donating incredible handmade art and goods for auction.”
Desert Bus is a great example of what happens when a huge community of people from all over the world – organizers, volunteers, crafters and viewers – come together to achieve a common goal.
Desert Bus the Game:
Desert Bus is actually a mini-game from the never-released Sega CD game Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. Challenging the player to drive a listing, unreliable, virtual bus on an endless, eight-hour-long strip of highway between Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, it is widely regarded to be the worst video game ever made.
“We play it for as long as donations come in. In order to keep things interesting for our viewers we have live and silent auctions, giveaways and contests, celebrity guests and a lot of silliness.”
“But wait,” you may say, “what else is there?” Well, a lot! Below is a list of just a few of the call-in guests and a sampling of prizes that might tickle your fancy.
Eisner Award-winning comic book writer, Matt Fraction!
Gearbox Software Creative Developer, Mikey Neumann!
Internet personality and angry person, Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw!
The “Too Much Free Time” pack (- Skyrim Legendary Edition, on the winner’s choice of Xbox or PS3, Batman: Arkham City GOTY Edition, on the winner’s choice of Xbox or PS3, and Elder Scrolls Anthology (PC)
As someone who has watched and participated in many Desert Bussings, I can attest the hilarity, comaradery, and quality of the event. Check out the official website, the Facebook, and Twitter page. If you are a gamer and want to spend a few days chatting with great people and watching some internet silliness, then nothing is better than Desert Bus for Hope.